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COVID Crisis

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the vulnerabilities of women and non-binary [1] human rights defenders and activists in Asia and the Pacific. We have received requests for assistance from grantees, advisors, and partners from communities across both regions affected by the pandemic’s multiple levels of crises.

In line with UAF A&P’s commitment to support women and non-binary [1] defenders and activists, we have opened a limited grant specifically to support their economic and basic needs during the COVID-19 pandemic. We have set aside USD $200,000 from the programme’s 2020-2021 budget to seed this fund, and we are in the process of securing additional funds. This grant is open until 30 June 2021.


I. Scope of COVID-19 Grants

This grant is available to women and non-binary [1] human rights defenders, activists and organisations in Asia and the Pacific in order to respond to their basic needs (i.e. food, housing, economic support) due to their government’s response to COVID-19 pandemic. It is intended for an individual or organisation experiencing economic hardship in providing their basic needs.

For all other COVID-19 related needs it will be covered under our regular grants (i.e Security and Well-Being and Resourcing Resilience grants).

For example:

     • Medical Support

     • Wellness/healing/community care/trauma-related work

     • Access for digital spaces and remote work/gatherings (ie. VPNs or other digital security tools)

     • Relocation or use for quarantine house/space

     • Travel expense due to lockdown


A. Criteria

Women or non-binary led – women or non-binary human rights defenders must be the primary beneficiaries of the grant, preferably channelled via a women’s rights organisation;


Human Rights Focus – the defender or organisation promotes the advancement of women’s and/or LBTQI’s human rights using nonviolent tactics or strategies and upholding the universality of human rights;


COVID-19 - The grant requested must be intended to support women and non-binary human rights defenders, activists and their community or collective (whether formal or informal) during the COVID-19 pandemic, specifically:

For economic support that has strategic significance in sustaining themselves and their communities during this crisis (e.g., organising community kitchens, distributing seeds for home gardens for food security; or

For those marginalised groups of activists who are discriminated upon, and unable to access government aid during this crisis (e.g., community of transgender activists unable to avail of emergency health care facilities provided to the public).


Timeline – Grant request must be received from now to 30 June 2021.

B. Available Grant Amount

UAF A&P provides grants of up to USD $5,000 only.

II. Application Guidelines
A. How To Apply

Apply online or download the Security and Well-Being grant Application, then send it to

B. Communication Channels

UAF A&P ONLY recognise Protonmail for email, and  Signal for messaging. We encourage applicants and grantees to use these channels because of its encryption capabilities, and for other security and privacy reasons. Please send us your application and queries through the following email addresses:

1. For grant application and inquiries, please send it to

2. For technical problems in using the online application, please visit the Frequently Asked Questions page or send a message to

C. UAF A&P's Advisors

UAF A&P’s grantmaking is informed by our roster of regional and country advisors whom we rely upon to assess recommended applications. Final decisions are communicated to each applicant after we have received endorsements from advisors.

D. Requirement for Grantees

All grantees are expected to submit final report on how each grant has been spent within six months from receipt of the grant.

E. Requirement for Previous Grantees

Previous grantees can re-apply for this grant. Decisions on the grant will depend on case-to-case basis.

F. RRG Approval Process

The approval process will be the same as our regular grants.

For further questions, please refer to our FAQ

[1]Non-binary is an umbrella term referring to individuals whose gender identity and/or gender expression are not exclusively masculine or feminine, male or female — thus, are outside of the gender binary and cisnormativity. UAF AP uses this term to encompass androgyny, polygender, genderqueer, gender fluid and a-gender individuals.



UAF A&P grants do not support:
  • Cisgender* males or cisgender male-led organisations or networks,
  • Individual requests without endorsement by an organisation,
  • Established community or established network affiliation or an UAF A&P advisor;
  • Activities or projects for humanitarian crises or natural disasters;
  • Activities or projects focused on development aid or charity assistance;
  • Projects or activities that are part of the regular programmes of an organisation;
  • Regular operating budgets and/or bridge funding (to fill a funding gap).

* Cisgender Males are individuals who identify as male and who were assigned male at birth.